Statement from Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford on Industry Growth
7 February 2020

A new survey has found New Zealand’s game development sector has grown beyond expectations and is on track to becoming a billion dollar industry in 2025, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says.

“New Zealand’s interactive media sector grew by 42 per cent in last financial year to $203.4 million, according to the NZ Game Developers Association’s 2019 industry survey,” Phil Twyford said. “A massive 96 per cent of this revenue came from exports.

“This exceeds findings in last year’s Interactive Aotearoa report that if the industry grew by 39 per cent a year it would be a billion dollar industry in 2025. It makes the interactive media sector New Zealand’s fastest tech or creative industry.

“Whether it’s through game development, digital story-telling, augmented reality, education technology or health applications, interactive media has so many social, wellbeing and cultural benefits to offer New Zealanders and people around the world.

“A great example of the innovation and growth of this industry is in my own electorate of Te Atatu where Grinding Gear Games began in a garage in West Auckland in 2006. The success of its Path of Exile game saw the company sell to Chinese tech company Tencent in 2018 for an undisclosed sum of more than $100 million. More than 2 million people worldwide regularly play Path of Exile and Grinding Gear Games now employs around 150 people in Henderson.

“Interactive media is exactly the kind of industry our Government wants to foster to help us achieve a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy – it is low emission, export driven and provides high-value jobs. It is scalable, with huge future potential and our Government wants to see the sector continue to strengthen and grow.

“Growing these kinds of industries is a key objective of the Government’s Industry Strategy. We will explore, in partnership with industry, the best way to support New Zealand’s interactive media sector through the future development of a creative industries Industry Transformation Plan.

“We are also helping the industry directly address its skill shortages through our reform of vocational education. The game development industry will for the first time be able to influence training and the type of courses offered by vocational education providers through the formation of new Work Development Councils,” Phil Twyford said.

Minister Twyford’s original announcement can be found here.